The Laser Materials Processing Lab (LMPL) at the University of Iowa pursues research on the advancement of material processing technology and sciences. There are currently three main research thrusts:

  • development of laser engineering methods for new functional materials;
  • development of novel manufacturing processes (via lasers, ultrasonics, friction stir processes); 
  • modeling and simulations of material processes, microstructures and functional properties. 

The lab is directed by Prof. Hongtao Ding


Group News:

June 2019 - Prof. Ding receives CCAD CRISP Genesis Award to develop dynamically tunable metamaterial for THz spectroscopy.

May 2019 - Prof. Ding receives the Career Kudos Award from the University of Iowa.

May 2019 - Avik Samanta is congratulated with 2018- 2019 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award by the Council of Teaching, University of Iowa at the Iowa Memorial Union. Congratulations!

April 2019 - Qinghua 'Nicholas' Wang is congratulated with 2019 Student Innovator Award at The University of Iowa Discovery & Innovation Awards Cremony at the Hancher Auditorium. Congratulations!

April 2019 - Haoxuan You and Zach Lowery wins the 1st place Popular Choice Award at the 2019 UI Research Open House. Congratulations!

April 2019Avik Samanta wins the Best Graduate Poster Award at the 2019 UI Research Open House. Congratulations!

April 2019 - Congratulations to Avik Samanta for receiving the 2018- 2019 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award from the University of Iowa. He is a doctoral candidate and has served as a teaching assistant for several courses. He is very dedicated, enthusiastic and enjoys working with the students.

March 2019We recently published a paper in Optics and Lasers in Engineering for our research in Laser Keyhole Cutting of CFRP. For the first time, a keyhole mode cutting is achieved for CFRP materials using a long-pulse nanosecond laser. A high-quality machined surface can be produced with a limited heat-affected zone and little fiber pull-out. The paper can be read from here.

March 2019Qinghua 'Nicholas' Wang received the the Ballard Seashore Dissertation Fellowship from the University of Iowa for Fall 2019. Congratulations!

March 2019Qinghua 'Nicholas' Wang received the 2019 Student Innovator Award from the University of Iowa. Congratulations!

March 2019Avik Samanta received the Graduate College Post-Comprehensive Research Fellowship from the University of Iowa for Fall 2019. Congratulations!

February 2019 -Our recent research is published in Scientific Reports on laser fabrication of new terahertz bandpass ultrathin metamaterials

December 2018 - Qinghua 'Nicholas' Wang and Avik Samanta successfully passed their respective comprehensive exam in Fall 2018. Congratulations!

October 2018Our research is featured in the 2018 ME Newsletter

Ocober 2018 - Qinghua 'Nicholas' Wang and Avik Samanta presented two papers in the 50th International Congress on Aplications of Lasers & Electro-Optics (ICALEO) at Orlando, Florida, USA. Good job both of you!

May 2018 - Ninggang ‘George’ Shen receives his PhD degree at  2018 Spring University of Iowa Graduate College Doctoral Commencement Ceremony at the Hancher Auditorium. Congratulations!

May 2018Prof. Ding Receives NSF Grant to Study a Fast Laser-based Surface Nanostructuring Method. 

April 2018 - Avik Samanta wins the Rajyalakshmi & Shankar N Planjery Award in Spring 2018. Congratulations!

April 2018Avik Samanta wins the Best Graduate Poster Award at the 2018 UI Research Open House. Congratulations!

October 2017 Ninggang ‘George’ Shen successfully defended his doctoral dissertation in Fall 2017. Congratulations! 

The title is “Microstructure Prediction of Severe Plastic Deformation Manufacturing Processes for Metals”.

George took a research internship position at GM R&D during his last semester (Fall 2017) with a NSF support.

George joined Tesla as a manufacturing engineer.

September 2017 - Timothy Heiderscheit successfully defended his master’s thesis in Fall 2017. Congratulations!

The thesis title is “Comparative Study of Near-Infrared Pulsed Laser Machining of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics”. 

Tim joined Quest Thermal Group as a Mechanical Engineer.

April 2017 Qinghua 'Nicholas' Wang wins the Sharada Devi Planjery Memorial Award in Spring 2017. Congratulations!

April 2017Avik Samanta wins the Best Graduate Poster Award at the 2017 UI Research Open House. Congratulations!

September 2015 - Prof. Ding Receives $300,000 NSF Grant

MForesight article about our laser-based composites processing research

Prof. Ding Posts Editorial for SME Speaks

Using Lasers to Improve Wind Turbine Repair

Prof. Ding Receives SME Award

Research Interns Kickoff Summer with Iowa NSF EPSCoR



At the University of Iowa, we have an immediate Research Assistantship (RA) opening for a project on wind turbine manufacturing, machining and surface treatment. We are looking for highly motivated students with background in one or more of the following areas: Solid mechanics, materials & mechanical behaviors, computer modeling (FEM, dislocation dynamics, MD, or phase field simulation), materials processing (e.g., machining), wind energy, and laser based manufacturing. PhD students in their first year or MS students who intend to continue PhD are preferred. Interested applicants are welcomed to contact Dr. Ding with a resume and a letter summarizing their research experience and research accomplishments.